Tough conditions provide tricky tieTEN-MAN Norwich City's Under-21s battled to a 1-1 draw on a difficult playing surface at Rockliffe Park against Middlesbrough on Friday afternoon.
City started the brighter and fashioned the best sight at goal in the opening moments. Jamar Loza's trickery earned him space on the edge of the Middlesbrough penalty area, but he flashed his shot over the bar.
The hosts then failed to clear a Ray Grant free kick, with the ball eventually falling to Louis McIntosh but he could not control and only managed to direct his effort wide of the target.
Arinse Uade's fouled on Joao Morelli proved to be the turning point, and it was enough to earn the left back his marching orders as Morelli raced through on goal.
The deadlock was broken on 24 minutes through Jordan Jones after he was felled in the penalty area by Joe Crowe, and Jones converted the resulting spot kick.
Substitute Michee Efete thought he had levelled matters shortly before half time but Joe Fryer was equal to his close-range effort, superbly tipping the ball over the bar.
City pushed hard for an equaliser in the second half and eventually got their reward late on.
After a sustained City attack, the ball fell kindly for Ray Grant who curled the ball exquisitely into the top corner with just four minutes remaining.
The hosts then proceeded to throw the proverbial kitchen sink at the Canaries, but Dmitri Halajko's side remained stubborn and held out for a deserved point.
FULL-TIME: Middlesbrough 1-1 Norwich City
GOALS: Boro: Jones (24), Canaries: Grant (86).
NORWICH CITY: Matthews (GK); Hall-Johnson (c), Crowe, Coker, Uade; Grant, McGrandles, McIntosh (King, 85); Ashley-Seal, Loza, Middleton (Efete, 20). Unused subs: Killip (GK), Jaiyesimi.